‘No one was clapping for us’: care, social justice and family carer wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales

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  • 1 Swansea University, , UK
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The inequalities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic have had particular implications for the wellbeing of family carers. This article considers these impacts from a social justice perspective, drawing on elements of the ethics of care and the capabilities approach, as well as findings from interviews with 30 family carers in Wales, UK, during the initial months of ‘lockdown’ in 2020. In the interviews, key themes emerged around the sense of loss, poorer outcomes, ‘caring solidarity’ and its absence, and concerns about the dominant discourse on care. Although rooted in the specifics of the pandemic experience, all have wider implications for how we understand wellbeing itself, and, in particular, its application to questions of social justice. We argue for the value of an extended conception of wellbeing – one that avoids the individualistic tendencies of some accounts and incorporates the importance of relationality and extrinsic material factors.

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